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REIQ Journal : February 2010
Nicola McDougall, Managing Editor, REIQ Journal There are also 39 projects, with a value of more than $100 billion, being assessed by Queensland's Coordinator-General. These projects have the potential to generate about 70,000 jobs and cover a diverse range of areas, including mining, water, ports, tourism, energy and gas. Signi cant regional projects currently under investigation include the $1.98 billion Abbot Point development near Bowen, the $1.25 billion Galilee Power Station in Central Queensland, and the $1 billion Surat Basin Rail. There is infrastructure aplenty under investigation or taking shape in Gladstone. Projects already approved include the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal, the Paci c Nickel Re nery and two aluminium smelters. A number of multibillion-dollar Lique ed Natural Gas (LNG) facilities -- and associated gas pipelines - are also being investigated for the region, which are likely to have a very positive impact on the area. According to demographer Bernard Salt, 2010 will be the decade about a ordability, infrastructure and resource communities such as Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone. And REIQ Gladstone zone chair Mark Spearing is certainly not surprised his region is being tipped as one to watch. Indeed, Gladstone's growing reputation as the future LNG capital of Queensland is spurring investors into action. "The market is seeing a tightening in stock levels as the early investors have started to secure properties in preparation for the next period of growth," he said. "It is widely anticipated that demand will far outstrip supply as major new industries and expansions occur in the region. "There is also an increasing awareness of the positive impact LNG is going to have on the region as the momentum for this alternative energy source grows. "There have been increasing numbers of investors arriving in Gladstone in the morning to inspect and buy properties and then leaving in the afternoon. One investor decided to go to contract on 20 properties which highlights the con dence people have in the future of our region." Toowoomba and Southern Queensland are two more regions tipped to bene t from the resource sector in years to come given their proximity to the Surat Basin. Surat Basin is already home to a number of gas and coal mining operations with more facilities, pipelines and rail projects currently under investigation. One of the larger infrastructure projects in the region is the proposed Surat Basin Rail project, which will be about 210km in length and will connect the Western Railway system near Wandoan---230km northwest of Toowoomba---with the Moura Railway system near Banana, 130km west of Gladstone. The project aims to enhance the export capacity of the rail network to meet requirements for the export of thermal and coking coal and potentially other future products from the region. REIQ Toowoomba/Darling Downs zone chair Leon Carlile said the region's proximity to Surat Basin, and the resultant infrastructure taking place there, augured well for the future. "The local economy has not su ered as a result of the strong employment from the growth of the Surat Basin mining sector," he said. "This lters through the whole economy and as a result we have continued to see strong property growth gures come out of the Toowoomba region. The Toowoomba water pipeline has solved our water shortage issues and it is full steam ahead for our local region. Toowoomba is set for a fantastic period of sustained growth over the next 10 years." He said the region was still pushing the State and Federal Government to development the Second Range Crossing, which would greatly enhance Toowoomba as a transport hub and increase its commercial capabilities at the new Charlton industrial park. Workers in the Clem 7 tunnel. Courtesy: Brisbane City Council REIQ Journal February 2010 15 FEATURE
December January 2010